Guide to Car Rental Business in Costa Rica

” My time’s restricted … exactly how do I select?”

Cars and truck service is a hot subject for visitors headed to Costa Rica. Current study performed by the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT) suggests that, after accommodations, renting out a cars and truck is the largest cost, balancing $702 for an eleven-day trip.

The Net is buzzing with unfavorable reviews talking about overcharging, inadequate customer service and also mechanical breakdowns. You might have even created one on your own!

A normal midsize (3 – 4 adults) 4X4 rental runs between $58 as well as $65 day-to-day with 3rd party insurance coverage as well as rates can differ as much as 20 percent among automobile rental companies, so checking out a quick testimonial will certainly be time well invested once you calculate the savings.

So the concern is; which rental firm offers the very best balance of fair cost, qualified customer care, and reliable lorries? I have actually investigated everything for you, so keep checking out!

Disclosure: This research study was performed in Might – July 2013. The following business was picked due to the fact that they are the most extensively utilized in Costa Rica. Some are regional firms; others are worldwide franchises of the acknowledged brand. Contrasts consist of customer care, rates as well as the reservation process. The business is noted alphabetically as well as not based on personal or online preferences.

Consider this details before renting:

Insurance policy

One of the greatest reasons for grievances is from the stack of unexpected costs provided to the tenant once standing at the rental company’s counter. Tourists are normally tired after a long trip and then are faced by costs that were not expected, clarified or allocated. You have to find Car Booker.

Covering the list of complaints is the non-disclosure of fees related to the mandatory third-party insurance at the time the reservation is made.

According to Costa Rican legislation, every vehicle driver is called for to carry obligation coverage to ensure versus injuries to 3rd parties. Auto rental business usually avoids disclosing the expense of this plan in the quoted rental price to show up much more competitive. Required third-party insurance can occasionally be as high as dual the vehicle’s rental price. The only guarantee against insurance complication is to inquire if your price quote consists of the 3rd party insurance and demand a created quote.

Price of Mandatory Insurance policy (additionally called Third Party or SLI).

Expect to pay in between $12 and $15 daily for this insurance coverage, depending upon the make and model of the rented out vehicle and the rental automobile agency. This is a legal problem of your rental contract as well as is generally not covered by charge card as well as cannot be forged. It’s a fact of leasing an auto in Costa Rica.

Accident Damage Waiver (CDW).

As the name recommends, this isn’t insurance coverage, yet a waiver, which soothes the tenant from any obligation for damages to the rental vehicle after the insurance deductible is paid (typically from $750 to $1,500). Some companies require renters to acquire their CDW plan; consequently negating any kind of bank card program. For an extra charge, many companies to supply a no obligation alternative where the renter will certainly be devoid of paying for any type of damages to the vehicle. Some business may place stress upon renters to acquire the absolutely no responsibility coverage; however, it is totally optional, unless it is in the small print of their rental contract.

Credit card insurance coverage programs might cover the CDW for a rental car. Talk to your selected rental automobile company to find which proof of insurance is required and afterward request that from your credit card firm before showing up. If you use your credit card’s CDW plan, expect to pay a higher deposit on the vehicle; around $1,500 to $2000 is common. The greater deposit guarantees that the credit card owner has enough economic gets to cover problems if needed. It is essential to consider that if utilizing CDW protection supplied by a charge card (in lieu of the lease a car operator), all damages will certainly be billed to the occupant’s charge card. The bank card company will certainly after that compensate the cardholder for damages.

Much more Insurance.

Tires, as well as windscreens, are hardly ever included in insurance policies, although extra plans might be obtained for covering these frequently harmed products. Neither the indoor neither the beneath of the car might be covered. Constantly check out the fine print.


Your bank card will be billed, or a ‘hold’ positioned, for the rental car while of the rental arrangement; i.e. from getting the service until you return it. Debit cards are generally not acceptable.

Additional Charges.

Most businesses have additional charges for additional drivers, cars and truck seats/boosters, cell phones, coolers, GPS and/or roof shelves. The expenses vary from business to company, yet given that these additionals are billed at a day-to-day rate, it is worth inspecting the overall price– extra alternatives can build up extremely quickly! A GPS is around $8 to $10 daily; nevertheless, some drivers may provide reduced units. Expect to pay around $5 daily for a kid seat and a couple of dollars a day for all the various other ‘niceties’. Vamos is significant for supplying a lot of these choices as well as, throughout some promos, also the GPS rental complimentarily. Alamo, Spending Plan, Hertz and also National bill one of the most for such extra choices; whereas the various other business listed, charge more sensible rates.

Additional charges.

A lot of business add tiny incremental expenses, such as to permit plate and environmental fees, into the complete tally. Watch out for drivers who put these additional charges into the fine print of the rental agreement. Autos rented directly at the airport terminal sustain airport taxes, which are a tremendous 12% of your rental price!

The rental lorry ought to be returned with the exact same amount of gas, unless otherwise suggested. If not, the business might bill over filling station rates for missing out on gas.


There is an argument over the lorries provided by rental firms: Older cars and trucks enable the vehicle driver to blend in greater than a shiny, new car and truck. Having an older model may have the indirect advantage of being less inspected by car rental firms for current nicks as well as scratches, unlike a newer car. Nevertheless, a newer vehicle might be extra roadworthy. This discussion carries on into the various vehicle makes and also designs. Normally, Costa Rican companies are able to rent their cars for a reduced price because their autos are usually 3 to 5 years of ages (versus 2 to 3). Online reviews would certainly suggest that the regional firms run out problems concerning car high quality than multinational franchises; research on online forums, such as, seems to show that customers frequently appreciate driving a less-than-new vehicle with the wilds of Costa Rica. The reasons are plenty, from roadway conditions to the idea of less-then-new cars assimilating much better– a more recent lorry might draw more unwanted interest.

The selections of rental autos in Costa Rica are mainly restricted to makes as well as versions that maintain an affordable resale value, are a typical brand name in the country, and also are cost-effective to preserve.

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